Homes and Communities Agency opens bidding for a £5bn set of housing frameworks

The Homes and Communities Agency has opened bidding for a £5bn series of housing frameworks in advance of a new strategy for the sale of public sector land.

As first revealed in Building last month, the HCA has decided to re-tender rather than extend its Delivery Partner Panel (DPP), which was set up in January 2010 and due to run out at the start of 2013, through which plans for around 24,000 homes have been procured.

Richard Hill, director of investment at the HCA, said the decision had been taken to re-procure the framework because of the government’s focus on using surplus public sector land to help boost housebuilding.

The Pre-qualification Questionnaire, issued today, comes in advance of the HCA’s publication of a revised land disposal strategy, expected in April, which is set to identify the public sector sites due to be sold to developers in the next 12 months.

It will also highlight sites earmarked for sale to developers in 2013/14 and 2014/15.

The government has pledged to see 100,000 homes built on public sector land over the next four years, with the HCA given a role specifically to sell former regional development agency sites.

Hill said an estimated £5bn of work will come through the panel over the next four years. “We’re very conscious of what’s happening in terms of the agenda around public sector land, which means it’s the right to time to re-procure, not extend the framework.”

He said the new panel will have a far greater number of firms on it than the 17 on the current three geographically split frameworks.

The new DPP will be split in to five regions – Northern; Midlands; East and South-East; South and South-West; and London – with between 17-25 firms on each panel.

The HCA will then run mini competitions to appoint firms to jobs on the framework, which it maintains cuts four months from the procurement process. The existing panel was criticised by mainstream housebuilders for not including the full range volume builders.

Hill said: “The main point of this competition will be to look for firms that can deliver homes in the current market conditions – we’re looking for those actively delivering in the geographic area of the panel.”